DE TREY FLOWERS QB MATTHEW STAFFORD TE T.J. HOCKENSON
CAN THE EAGLES REBOUND BY TAMING THE UNBEATEN LIONS?
BY OLIVIA SCHALLER
2019 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES GAMEDAY MAGAZINE 11
PHILADPEHLILPAHDIAE LEPAHGILAE ES AGGALMEESD GAAYM MEADGAYA ZMINAEGAZINE19111
The Eagles host the Detroit Lions for an NFC
showdown today at Lincoln Financial Field.
In their first action of the season, the Lions
tied with the Arizona Cardinals after losing a
comfortable lead going into the fourth quarter.
The game ended 27-27 after back-to-back field
goals in overtime, giving the Lions only their
second tie in franchise history.
In Week 2, the Lions were able to regain their
confidence at Ford Field, where they defeated
the Los Angeles Chargers 13-10. After trailing
10-6 halfway through the fourth quarter,
Detroit converted a fourth-and-1 at the
Chargers’ 35-yard line. The next play resulted
in a 31-yard touchdown pass from Matthew
Stafford to Kenny Golladay, that ultimately
won the game.
Stafford completed 49 of 75 passes for 630
yards through the first two games of the
season. He has thrown five touchdowns
and two interceptions. The 11-year veteran
was a consistent strength in the Lions’ first
game and showed the same poise against
The Lions have dangerous weapons at many
positions starting with rookie tight end T.J.
Hockenson. He caught six passes for 131
yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals.
Hockenson’s yardage set the NFL record for
the most receiving yards by a tight end in his
first game. He is only the second player in
Lions’ history to top 100 yards in his debut,
joining wide receiver Earl McCullough, who
had 132 yards in 1968.
The other primary weapons on offense
are the wide receivers Golladay and Danny
Amendola, who both recorded a touchdown
in the matchup against Arizona. Amendola
led the team in targets and his 47-yard
touchdown proved to be the highlight for the
Lions in Week 1. Golladay led the team with
117 receiving yards and the game-winning
touchdown against the Chargers.
On the other side of the ball, linebacker
Devon Kennard provided the flash with three
sacks against quarterback Kyle R Murray
in the first half during Week 1. He became
the first linebacker in Lions history to notch
three sacks in the first half of a game. In
the 2018 season, Kennard had the secondhighest
sack total on the team with seven.
The Lions added pass rusher Trey Flowers
in free agency. Flowers had 7.5 sacks and 20
quarterback hits for the Patriots last season.
He and head coach Matt Patricia reunite after
working together in New England.
The safeties also impressed in the season
opener. Tracy Walker led the Lions with nine
tackles along with a tackle for loss, a pass
defended, and an interception in his first
start at safety. Veteran safety Quandre Diggs
recorded five tackles in the matchup.
Cornerback Darius Slay stepped up in a big way
against the Chargers. Matched up against Pro
Bowl wideout Keenan Allen, Slay’s interception
made him the hero in the Lions’ victory. His
interception killed the Chargers’ last drive with
only about a minute left on the clock.
In the first game, the defense excelled but
could not remain consistent in the fourth
quarter. Detroit held the Cardinals to 100 yards
and six points through the first three quarters,
but allowed 193 yards and 18 points in the
fourth quarter to Kyler Murray and company.
After a week of practice and adjustments, the
defense shut down the Los Angeles Chargers
and did not allow any points in the final 30
minutes of the game.
The final takeaway from this Lions team is
that the special teams unit needs to improve.
Detroit fumbled a punt, had a punt blocked,
and committed four penalties in Week 1.
Detroit was flagged five times (four accepted),
missed a 40-yard field goal, and missed an
extra point in the game against the Chargers.